Diagnosis

Here you will find the tools that are used to help make a diagnosis of coronary artery disease.

General Cardiac Tests

A variety of health factors indicate your chance of having a cardiovascular event such as heart attack or stroke.

Age, hereditary factors, high cholesterol, weight, cigarette smoking, blood pressure, exercise history, and diabetes are all important in determining your risk for heart disease.  

Blood tests

Heart Disease Tests, Cardiac Catheterization

There are imaging tests, non-invasive and invasive, that may be used in cardiac risk assessment.

Exercise Stress Tests

An Exercise StressTest is a useful tool for detecting coronary artery disease and for evaluating medical therapy and cardiac rehabilitation following myocardial infarction.

Cardiac catheterization

To view blood flow through your heart, your doctor may inject a special dye into your arteries (intravenously).

This is known as an angiogram. The dye is injected into the arteries of the heart through a long, thin, flexible tube (catheter) that is threaded through an artery, usually in the leg, to the arteries in the heart. This procedure is called cardiac catheterization. The dye outlines narrow spots and blockages on the X-ray images. If you have a blockage that requires treatment, a balloon can be pushed through the catheter and inflated to improve the blood flow in your heart. A stent may then be used to keep the dilated artery open.

CT angiography for CAD

CT Scan (Computerized Axial Tomography) consists of many radiographs shot at the same time from different angles. Later, a computer gathers all the images and reconstructs them in only one image, summing up the images obtained from the different angles.

CT is now available to diagnose coronary artery disease. In the past, noninvasive functional tests of the heart were used, such as treadmill tests and nuclear studies, to indirectly assess if there were blockages in the coronary arteries. The only way to directly look at the coronary arteries was via a cardiac catheterization.

While cardiac catherization  and angiography is the standard of reference for evaluation of coronary artery disease, and has a small risk of complications, it is an invasive procedure with substantial costs. A noninvasive technique for the anatomic assessment of coronary arteries is therefore highly desirable.

Cardiac CT for Calcium Scoring

A cardiac CT scan for coronary calcium is a non-invasive way of obtaining information about the presence, location and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries—the vessels that supply oxygen-containing blood to the heart muscle.

Cardiac MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.